The Martyr Stephen
IMPORTANT: Mary was NOT the only one who was full of God's grace. Stephen was too! Hence, a dilemma arises for Catholics. If Mary was sinless, as they claim, because she was full of God's grace, then Stephen must have been too, because Acts 6:8 says that about him! The truth is, only Jesus was sinless and Catholic dogma is severely flawed in many areas.
Stephen did wonders and signs among the people and some Jews started to argue with him. They couldn't stand against the Spirit or wisdom by which he spoke. So his religious opposition falsely accused Stephen of blasphemy, which was punishable by death (Lev. 24:16).
That led to him being brought before the Sanhedrin. Acts 7 is Stephen's impromptu extemporaneous sermon. It came from this man filled with God's Spirit! Stephen's sermon is filled with scriptural details. In other words, Stephen was a man who knew the Bible and literally understood its meaning. His fearless sermon before a large group of truth-haters is a wonderful concise synopsis of the whole old testament. Stephen stood alone
His fearless sermon before a large group of truth-haters is a wonderful concise synopsis of the whole old testament. Stephen stood aloneas he delivered a sizzling rebuke to the very ones who unjustly condemned Jesus to death.
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:59,60)
[Catholics want us to call on Mary at the hour of our death without any scriptural backing! Stephen's example shows we should focus on JESUS.]
Stephen's prayer also showed he forgave the ones who were murdering him, even while he was being murdered in a most cruel and unjust way! That is very important!
That is very important!We must forgive people who sin against us (Mt. 6:14,15). Stephen is an example of how to live and how to die. Stephen was a shining example of a Christian. He knew the scriptures and seriously took its message to heart, as we all better do. Before his death he had a vision, seeing Jesus standing at the right hand of God. That is the only time we read of Jesus standing at the right hand of God. [That proves Jesus is NOT the person of the Father, unlike what the Apostolics (also known as Jesus Only) would want us to believe.]
After Stephen was martyred, and godly men mourned his death, the Christians were scattered from Jerusalem because of a great persecution. As they scattered, the word of God spread and many SOULS came to salvation. The next time you wonder what the early Christian life was like, remember Stephen! He was willing to die for his faith. Also, the next time the devil tempts you to have a pity party for unjust treatment from others, remember Stephen's unjust treatment. He was a slave of righteousness and walked free from unforgiveness! Stephen's life was an honor to Jesus. He died an overcomer. Now you should know who was Stephen in the Bible.
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